Wheeler Dealers

scrap car

(source)

found a car and fuelled it

on philosophy

ran for miles, at first, that little beaut

but something went, its big end,

so unfortunately

traded in and no one guessed or knew it

a motor vehicle furnished with a wee box

for putting pennies in

to make it go

fed it full but, bugger, don’t you know it

it guzzled

charity, the needy, had to go

got another, this one was a belter,

no one knew the places it would see

all taxed and filled and raring for the open

a limousine built especially you see

fail safe gears and brakes

all paid for by some people

serfs, they were, or some such

it’s so fine

runs like clockwork

wind them

make it happen

philanthropy abused

for them and thine

 

needing new suppliers

for their buzzfeed

charity

philanthropy

are pissed

taken to the breakers

to the cleaners

time for the knackers’ yard

where wheeler dealers

won’t be missed

Penny For Them

£     s     d

2    9    6

4    8    7

+ 5   6    4

—————

£12  4s  5d

—————-

Memory escapes slightly but I think that’s the way we used to do it.

Back in the pre-metric days of my primary school, 12 pennies made a shilling and 20 shillings made a pound.

By the time I reached my final year of primary school 100 pennies made a pound. And I became au fait with the decimal point.

The new metric coins were introduced and, gradually, through time the old coins were put to rest. It took years, with certain of the old coins of particular interest being traded, by those in the know, as having more worth than their face value depending on when it had been minted and whose face adorned the other side of tails.

An aunt of mine had a little book, listing those of worth in general circulation, and kept her eyes peeled, hoping to be lucky enough to come across one of the rarities.

Adults at that time, particularly the more aged, were forever heard to be arguing with shopkeepers, believing they were being diddled in their change.

And who could blame them?

One day they had been handing over a pound note to pay for goods costing a shilling and received nineteen shillings, or 228 pennies, in change. The next day, they handed over a pound and received, in change, with an apparently huge shortfall, 95 pence.

Even I felt diddled handing over my thrupenny bit for sweets

A local shop kept two trays of sweets under the counter, one holding sweets costing a penny and the other for goodies valued at a hal’penny.

For my thrupenny bit I could purchase three penny sweets or six hal’penny sweets or any combination amounting to the same. And I could work it out.

Then, one day, those self-same trays allowed me to take one sweet from the penny tray and one from the halfpenny tray or three from the latter. I argued like an old woman despite being about 11. Something was far wrong.

Or so it seemed.

The transition between old money and new felt like we were all being diddled. God bless the shopkeepers. They must have had their work cut out too, trying to pacify irate customers while working out the conversion with the handy list sellotaped near the till and, at the same time, ensure they weren’t going to be pulled up at the end of the day, by their employer, for fiddling.

I’m no expert on economics. Far from it, in fact. When my brother was studying economics as part of his university course in Business Admin, I recollect a conversation we had as he tried to explain the finer points of supply and demand, inflation and deflation and the different schools of thought on the subject. He lost me.

Back then, and even now, I find it difficult to comprehend that price, value and worth are not necessarily synonymous. Perhaps, rarely so.

The value of water is priceless.

The value of a superstar, priceless also, apparently.

The respective worth of each, leagues apart, in life stakes.

The price? I pay very little attention to the cost to clubs when footballers change hands and contracts are negotiated, except perhaps to note the ridiculous sums paid to kick a ball about in the hopes of improving team chances of winning some trophy. I listen, in disbelief, when sums quoted translate to millions in any currency.

I do realise that my lack of interest in football colours my judgement. But, I also wonder at the economics of such transactions when clubs find themselves going to the wall, pass on the cost to supporters and are forever on the lookout for rich investors to save the day and creative accountants to cook the books.

Those interested in football will follow these transactions closely, pay the subsidy at the gates if they can afford to and consider the player worth the cost if a trophy of indeterminate intrinsic worth is brought home to be displayed with pride in a room few will have access to.

Their choice. Doesn’t affect me at all.

Except.

When the perceived worth of something or someone is based on only one factor, there’s something wrong in the state of play.

Yesterday I read a post outlining what the government of Puerto Rico should be obliged to do in order to meet their debts.

In essence, deprive the nation of easy access to water. Among other austerity measures that will hurt the populace.

Comparisons were made to the situation in Greece.

Got debt, must pay.

Somehow, must pay.

You owe, must pay.

Mismanaged economy, must pay.

It strikes me that people don’t change the currency. People don’t create monetary policy. People don’t even understand how economics works. People are guided by those who profess to know and trust that those in the know, those governing on their behalf, are actually doing just that.

People deal with smaller sums. People take what they’re given for their apparent worth and hope that they can balance their own books. Surely, we can trust the financial institutions and associated government bodies and financiers to do their jobs. They’re paid enough to do so.

Yeah, right.

I listen to figures being bandied about, trillions for Trident, billions for welfare, gazillions lost in tax default.

I understand money management on a household scale although often wonder where it all goes. Then I look at the books and note what I’m paying for this and that, remark on the changes in price of milk and bread and the rising cost of insurance. And try to balance the books without diddling anyone.

It seems that some of the economists don’t understand how economics works.

Someone, some many someones, somewhere, scribble some figures on the back of an envelope, flash the possibilities and gamble with the health and wealth of a nation. Different schools of economic thought are used to play risk. Priorities are weighed by different parties. Unrealistic goals and targets are outlined and bankrupted.

And still we allow them to mis/manage our countries. It is the trust of people that has been bankrupted while those who play the game also run the shop and set the prices. We don’t determine the currency and fiddle the exchange rate, although we are guilty of allowing value to be set by others. We are culpable in a system that dehumanises suffering based on accounts and capitalises on effort while penalising poverty.

The people, meanwhile, take their thruppeny bit to the store and can’t figure out why they’re being penalised, why what was affordable and available yesterday has become a luxury item.

Luxury is relative.

Water is not a luxury.

Ordinary people do have value.

The price they are being expected to pay is not worth it.

I can count in old money, I can count in new. Imperial, decimal. It all amounts to the same thing if someone else determines the exchange rate and sets intrinsic worth.

That handy conversion table at the till now lists the price of life against the coin.

Perhaps it always has and those who have counted the cost have been unheard except through revolution or appeals made to the charity of those relatively better off. Who can resist such appeals, even while knowing that sometimes the cause of dire circumstances is not natural disaster but the corruption or mismanagement of a country by those who want their own trophy at any cost?

One thing economists/governments don’t appear to take account of, where maybe they did in the past, is that people will put up with a lot, a really huge amount, an enormous quantity of being diddled, of suffering hardship, of paying the toll at the gate of the game others control, so long as basic requirements are met.

At the most basic, is water and the air we breathe. How much longer before oxygen tanks are issued with a price tag?

mad-hatter-1

Who runs the countries?

Penny for your thoughts?

A Good Time

Now would be a good time

To embrace and hold

In tenderness,

Comfort and love.

Now would be a good time

To recognise that compassion,

Empathy

And truth will guide the way.

Now would be a good time

To speak from within,

To share yourself,

To open to the world.

Now would be a good time

To risk and dare

In the name of love and light.

In blinding truth.

Now would be a better time

Than later

Or never.

Not at all.

Now would be the perfect time

To clasp hands,

Hold tightly

And leap into light.

Now is the only time.

Progress

Progress moves forward, time cannot pause,

Past is unchanging, we know this because

Nothing, here present, allows us to alter

Yesterday’s stories, yet we stutter and falter,

 

To grasp our todays and heal where we may

Holding to history, as if we could say,

‘That never happened. That book is a lie.’

If we live in the past, we suffer and die

 

To future’s new chances, a life with less pain,

But still we persist in living again

In past recollections where sorrow is spent,

Move on with new hope, life is but lent

 

For such a short while, each day just a gift,

In peril we waste them, let soul and heart lift.

A new understanding, resume with your living

Reconciling with self, be much more forgiving.

 

As, many the times, we look and we see,

The burden of guilt is on you and on me.

Progress rewards us with many advances

But we must be watchful. Seize all our chances

 

To live our new days each present, here now,

For, come our tomorrows, they may not allow

The same opportunities to develop and grow

In wisdom of life. No secret. We know

 

That life and its loving, all it may offer

Is rarely mistaken, it seeks to proffer

Many a lesson, if we can but learn, that

Progress, development, come in their turn

 

To challenge our theories, our thoughts and our ways,

Embrace what is past but go on with our days.

Change is a happenstance, a gurgling stream,

Never stagnating, let not your dreams

 

Be caught in the yesterdays, where nothing can vary.

Progress is wonderful, though sometimes quite scary!

Smile at the present, resist the long face,

Being happy in now, knows no disgrace

 

If thought and a heart, cleared of distress,

Love and forgive. We can do no less

If some of the morals we needed to know,

Experience helped us and taught us to grow.

 

Goodbye to the past, although it has formed us,

Hello to today, yesterday informed us

In mercy and kindness where all who may seek,

Receive and give freely, all days of each week.

Simplicity

Complications blow my mind!

A simpler truth I seek to find.

It lets my thoughts free to unwind.

In simplicity, I feel less blind.

 

Every time I hear a row

I question why and even how

It started, then I thus avow

To settle it right here and now.

 

Questions seek the lowest form,

Ingenuous answers that conform

To unassuming, artless norm, so

Unpretentious keeps me warm

 

Naivete is viewed as flaw,

Artlessness leaves others raw,

Seeking as they do a straw

To cling to oscillating yaw.

 

I’d rather hear the simple truth.

I’ve been this way from as a youth.

Complications are uncouth,

A mask for those long in the tooth.

 

Straightforward solutions satisfy,

Resolutions do not decry

Minimalist treasures we espy.

So seek to simplify.

 

Nature’s wonderful creation

Fills my soul with such elation,

Complicated configuration,

Portrayed in guileless adoration.

Who Are You?

Oh, such is understanding word,

That all you read seems quite absurd.

I get the point for I have pointed,

But, say, my elbow was disjointed?

And what I pointed to was broken

Must I then speak in words true spoken?

Or does a heart ken all it sees

And bows on genuflected knees?

No, truth is quite transparent when

The washer wipes and so reckons

That all they see inside the room is not

All fear and doom and gloom.

But, measured with some point of faith,

Relays the truth and sees the wraith

That succours to a heaven sent

And knows that life is all but spent.

And then,

A future seems so much to clear,

Enamoured, fill their hearts with cheer.

But, truth be told,

There is no heart in those I here now do depart

From, endless war that is so waged.

Engaged I find and, too enraged.

This bastard life that spat

Confusion

Knows not family delusion.

A happy child, a carefree name.

Identity inside the frame

Of subterfuge and grand design

This heart is broken. ‘Tis not mine.

Moving On

Eyes open.

Mind wide.

Look beyond,

Seek and find

A path,

A way,

A cause for today.

A reason to live

A motive to give

A care for this life,

A purpose

To strive.

A key to the future

A lock to the past

A reason to run

A flag up the mast.

Those hurts

That lie in the past,

See the future,

Let those memories rest.

Gazing and searching

For reasons for that,

Self-destructive

Coffin and nail;

Dwelling on pain,

A source for relief;

Feel the anguish,

The hurt

Then relinquish the grief.

This life is for living

With purpose

And meaning,

With joy for

The very air we are breathing.

All this, so easy to write,

‘Here’s my hurt, see my pain,

Hear my plight’.

All of us fear

And hurt

And despair

The answers we seek

Do not lie back there

In a world

That is gone

Can’t relive

Be undone.

Shout out,

Seek the help that we need

Cry and

Let our hearts bleed.

Then move to the present,

The here and the now,

Begin a new day

Where past is just that,

Gone not forgotten

But experiences, rotten,

And dwelt on,

Taint the life

That we still have

To live.

True Is True

Truth is truth,

Say what you will,

Ancient wisdom

Conquers still.

The relative

And absolute

Will still remain

When all is moot.

 

Epochs pass

And eras too

Yet light remains

For true is true.

 

Knowledge withers

Like the tree

The beasts that roam

And you and me.

Lands may shift

And mountains fall

Valleys form

New creatures call.

 

Epochs pass

And eras too

Yet light remains

For true is true.

 

Evolving world

To understand

Histories told

Each time, each land.

Records show

A changing face

Where is the constant

In this race?

 

Epochs pass

And eras too

Yet light remains

For true is true.

 

A mighty bang,

Exploding mass,

Expanding universe

To last?

One short journey

Here we have.

Fulsome earth

And constant birth.

 

Epochs pass

And eras too

Yet light remains

For true is true.

 

Creation hand,

A bolt of light,

Separating

Day from night.

A dusty passing,

This life lost,

A radiant glow

A new life host.

 

Epochs pass

And eras too

Yet, light remains

For true is true.